Mübahat S. Kütükoğlu

Keywords: Village names, City names, Quarter names, Street names, Change

Abstract

Place names are very important for historians doing research in the field of historical geography as well as for linguists and geographers .. The determination of places whose names had been changed in time causes great difficulties as the places which have been wiped out of the map. Some places are double-named and one of them has been forgotten in time and the other has begun to be used. Morevoer, some names have been changed by administrative authorities. While changing the names arbitrarily could be observed partially during the Ottoman period, it was taken into consideration more seriously during the Republican era and especially in 1950's many place names were changed. Changing names of foreign origin with the Turkish ones was shown as a reason. However, some names that are definitely Turkish as Çepni and Çavuldur from Oğuz tribes were changed without making the necessary investigations. Afterwards, it was realized that a mistake was being made and this process was stopped. Although the changed names, with their old and new forms, have been given in the works named as Köylerimiz published by the Ministry of lnterior, it cannot be possible to find all the changed names in these works. Another important aspect is that the change was made on the village names and the antic forms of the city names adapted to Turkish larynx were preserved. However, exceptions in Turkifications have been also observed. It is possible to give the example of replacing the Turkish and very meaningful name "Cumaovası" with the name of "Menderes" which is of Greek origin. This example shows that name changes have been made without doing researches and contemplating. Not only the name of villages but also the name of quarters and streets have been changed and are still being changed. In conclusion, it could be said that these changes made without the necessary investigation are inadvisable because they can cause researchers to encounter with difficulties and most importantly they can break our connections with our history.